After spending 276 days in orbit, China's secretly operated reusable spacecraft landed on Monday to complete its second mission. The spacecraft's manufacturer, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) and official Chinese media outlets reported that the spacecraft landed late on May 8, Beijing time.
According to reports, the seemingly successful operation represented a significant advance in the country's work on reusable spacecraft technology. The brief statements made no mention of the photos, the landing time or the landing site.
According to the statement, this initiative will offer a more practical and economical way to go into space in the future for the peaceful use of space.
The reusable test spacecraft was launched on August 4 (UTC) 2022 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert.
US Space Force tracking data showed the spacecraft launched an object into orbit late last year. The spacecraft and the small satellite were in close contact during the operation.
The stealth spacecraft's second voyage is different from its first voyage in 2020. During the voyage, the spacecraft performed a four-day orbit in a 50-degree inclination 331 by 347 kilometers orbit. The spacecraft entered an initial orbit of 597 degrees 608 by 50 kilometers before circularizing the orbit to 346 by 593 kilometers. The task, which has already ended, took 276 days.
Throughout its mission, the spacecraft has made numerous modest and significant orbital changes, with changes made in recent weeks in anticipation of landing.
The Lop Nur military facility in Xinjiang is where the landing most likely took place. According to Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist and spaceflight tracker, data on the spacecraft's trajectory indicate that at about 0020 UTC, an orbital track over the facility allowed for landing.
Recent activity at the Lop Nur site is illustrated by a satellite image taken by Umbra's synthetic aperture radar.
Little information about the project has been made public by China. However, using the Long March 8F rocket, which can lift just over 2 tons into low Earth orbit, places limitations on the spacecraft's size and mass.
Shortly after launch, visible photos of the mission's payload cowl began appearing online, giving clues about the vehicle's size and shape.
The construction of an orbital segment for a fully reusable two-stage in-orbit space transport system appears to depend on the spacecraft. In September 2022, a suborbital segment using vertical takeoff and horizontal landing completed a second journey.
The Natural Science Foundation of China last year provided national funding for CASC's reusable spaceplane project.
The spacecraft, named Tengyun, is being developed by sister company CASIC, a major defense and space contractor.
Meanwhile, a nonprofit called Space Transportation has raised more than $2021 million with the intent to launch a hypersonic spacecraft in 46,3. Several Chinese rocket companies have also prepared presentations outlining their ideas for miniature spaceplanes launched with liquid rockets.
In recent years, China has worked to increase its access to space in a variety of ways; this includes feeding a commercial aerospace industry that offers a variety of solid and reusable liquid fuel launch vehicles currently in operation.
The country's primary space contractor, CASC, is currently working on new, super-heavy-lifting reusable launch vehicles that will allow the country to attempt to land astronauts on the moon, as well as a rocket that will eventually be fully reusable to accomplish key space infrastructure projects.
Günceleme: 08/05/2023 12:25